Dogs registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) are pedigreed dogs that have been bred to a certain standard. They are generally fairly expensive and come with pedigrees to prove their breeding. Generally speaking, AKC registered dogs are available from breeders who are Kennel Club members. They can be found by consulting the club’s breeder list.
To make the AKC list, breeders must comply with a specific level of responsibility and accountability. This is a good thing in the world of dog breeding where irresponsible breeding and puppy mills run rampant. For this reason, if you are dead set on acquiring a pedigreed puppy, you are well advised to consult the AKC breeder list to locate a responsible, humane breeder of your chosen dog breed.
Is a pedigreed dog preferable or necessary?
Unless you plan to show or breed your dog, no. Pedigree is not necessary. If you are looking for a family pet, the most important things you will want to consider are the animal’s personality, temperament, size, eating habits, coat length and other practical, day-to-day qualities.
The fact of the matter is, there is a tremendous dog overpopulation around the world. Hundreds of thousands of perfectly good dogs are put to sleep in shelters and pounds every day. Among these are pure breed or nearly pure breed puppies and adult dogs. If you are seeking a dog of a specific breed, you have a very good chance of finding a very nice one at your local shelter or pound. Failing that, contacting a breed specific rescue is sure to bring good results.
Are pure breed dogs better pets?
Properly and responsibly bred pure-breeds (such as those from AKC registered breeders)may possess specific attributes that make them more suitable for certain placements. For example, if you are looking for a working Bloodhound for tracking or a dog for herding livestock, you would be well advised to seek out an AKC registered dog whose parents and lineage have shown a strong ability in your areas of need and interest.
If you just like the looks of a Bloodhound or a herding dog, there is no reason why you should not look for that type of dog available from a shelter or rescue. Your expenses will be far less, and you will save a life.
What if I want to breed my dog?
There is very little reason to breed dogs these days. There are more than enough dogs to go around in all parts of the world. For this reason, it is very wise to limit breeding to only those responsible, humane, licensed breeders who produce a specific number of dogs for showing and work. These would include tracking dogs, drug sniffing and other law enforcement dogs, herding dogs, companion and assistance dogs for people with disabilities and so on.
It is important to understand that; although there are certain breeds that are specifically bred to perform these kinds of jobs, very often mixed breeds from shelters and rescue dogs can be selected based on their temperament and attributes to fill these needs quite well.
You might wonder if we would eventually arrive at a point at which we had a dog underpopulation if strict limits on breeding are observed. The fact is, limits will never actually be closely enough observed to cause this to happen; however, you can help reduce the number of unwanted dogs by adopting one or more yourself. When you do, you both save a life and set a good example for others.